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New Faculty Publications

A new book by John Van Dyk, professor of education emeritus, was recently published by Dordt College Press.

Fostering a Reflective Culture in the Christian School: The Maplewood Story, is a fictional account of one school’s effort to foster a reflective culture among its students.

Van Dyk’s book is for all who are interested in Christian education, but his target audience is teachers, administrators, school board members, and students preparing to be teachers.

The story is set in the fictitious Maplewood Christian School, where an educational consultant begins a year-long experiment in using the power of reflection to close the gap between vision and practice in Christian education. In an engaging and conversational style, each of the forty short chapters highlights an aspect of the typical school calendar: planning for the first day of school, curriculum committee meetings, school board retreat, parent-teacher conferences, prom, graduation, etc.

Fostering a Reflective Culture in the Christian School: The Maplewood Story is available at the Dordt College Bookstore and from major on-line booksellers.

What’s the single most important piece of advice you would share with someone growing up in Iowa? Author James Calvin Schaap, Sioux Center, is among the high-profile Iowa residents who responded to that question, with gathered responses bound into a collection by editor Zachary Michael Jack.

Letters to a Young Iowan: Good Sense from the Good People of Iowa to Young Folks Everywhere is the resulting book, recently released by Ice Cube Press.

The book is brimming with reflections, thought-provoking advice, and observations about the state of Iowa and its residents. Interspersed throughout are nuggets like how to walk a gravel road, what you can learn from chickens, cows and pigs; and good spitting techniques.

The assortment of nearly ninety essays examine a wide range of spiritual, moral, practical, environmental, agricultural, intellectual, emotional, and artistic characteristics in Iowans, together offering a mosaic of who and what we are as a people, as communities, and as a state.

Book contributors offer a Who’s Who of the Hawkeye state, including former Governor Robert D. Ray, Dan “Mr. Science” Coffey, University of Iowa wrestling coach legend Dan Gable, “The Iowa Traveler” Cary J. Hahn, former U.S. Representative Jim Leach, former Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson, former Iowa First Lady Christy Vilsack, and many more.

Editor Zachary Jack says he sought out contributors who would represent the range of people and ideas in Iowa. The occupations of the contributors include farmers, small business owners, park rangers, artists, professional athletes, engineers, factory technicians, museum directors, lawyers, nuns, and others.

Letters to a Young Iowan is available from bookstores, web-based book outlets, and at the Dordt College Bookstore.